- Maria Montessori
Grace and Courtesy in reaction to the young child's need for order. The Primary Transition Class is the perfect place to begin these exercises in Grace and Courtesy because the child at the end of the first plane of development is not yet self-conscious and doesn't realize what the child is doing at times. Grace and Courtesy lessons are given to each child in the environment and usually in a group. This allows the child to have a clear understanding as well as a place to perfect themselves with each other. Grace and Courtesy provides manners and hones the child's skills. In the end, the child will have incorporated these graces and courtesies into his everyday life, which will allow for a more pleasant classroom and environment wherever the child may go.
Practical Life is the true heart of a Montessori classroom. By working on real-life tasks, children develop their independence, coordination, and concentration through a variety of activities that explore daily activities such as eating, cutting, polishing, sweeping, dressing, and cleaning. Teachers demonstrate these tasks that explore caring for the environment and the self, encouraging responsibility, and promoting self-esteem.
Sensorial materials in the Montessori classroom are made to help the child explore the world through their senses. Each of the sensorial materials isolates one quality such as color, weight, shape, texture, size, sound, and smell. These materials help children figure out the difference between information to categorize and relate new information to what they already know. Sensorial Materials are largely self- correcting, so the child can accomplish most of these exercises alone. Children find a sense of order in these materials and acquire joy in learning that their environment has order.
Language development is vital to human development. Our Montessori environment is rich in oral language opportunities, allowing the child to experience conversations, stories, and poetry. The sandpaper letters help children link sound and symbol effortlessly, encouraging the development of written expression and reading skills. To further reading development, children are exposed to the study of grammar. Language experiences encourage children to master, and blend sounds to build words, instead of the traditional memorization of "sight words." This gives children the tools to read at a higher level.
Early mathematics activities are designed to transform ideas into actions using concrete learning materials resulting in making abstract concepts clear to the learner. These experiences explore the underlying fundamentals of algebra, geometry, logic, and statistics. Operational principles such as addition, multiplication, division, and subtraction.
Geography begins with the study of maps and the two hemispheres of Earth and becomes more and more detailed as children will learn about countries and Continents. The very young child will use the wooden puzzle maps as puzzles, but the older child can use the pieces as a guide as he makes his own maps, labeled with his own handwriting when he is ready.
Children are introduced to many topics and learn to make predictions in their Science and Nature activities. The land and water work, introducing the concepts of Lake and Island, is closely connected to the geography curriculum. Children learn about volcanoes, the layers of the Earth and the solar system. Children will go on nature walks and then research the leaves and seed they have found. Activities include Sink or Float, Living or Non-Living, Magnetic or Non-Magnetic, Land and Water Forms, the Structure of the Earth and Botany.
Art is one of the many ways children express themselves. Art is a way for children to communicate their feelings. It is through art that children develop their fine motor skills. In the Montessori environment, we provide open-ended art activities that help children explore and use their creativity.